Lyft is coming to Toronto!
Lyft is the second most popular ride-hailing app and has been around in the United States since 2012, three years after the launch of Uber. The service will make their first introduction to the international market in Toronto, with a plan to start their business up by the end of the year. This will provide a healthy dose of competition for Uber, a company that is not that popular within the city. In October of 2015, Toronto city council amended a bylaw allowing Uber to operate after the company was hit with a lawsuit filed by the taxi and limo drivers industry in Toronto.
Uber welcomes the competition from Lyft, as Lyft’s president John Zimmer said in a statement. “We see [Toronto] as a world class city. It will likely become one of our top five markets overall,” he said. “As a city, that really shares the values that we have at Lyft- focusing on people taking care of people, treating people well, treating people with mutual respect, and promoting both inclusion and diversity.”
While Uber has faced criticism in the past few months in some major cities, including London and Montreal, Lyft has been increasing its market share in the U.S. and even recorded a growth of $1.6 billion in financing this past year alone. The company says they are now worth $11bn. In May 2017 , Lyft struck a deal with Google’s Waymo, in order to develop self-driving cars.
The services offered by Lyft are very similar to Uber, complete with reduced prices. But, the launch of Lyft is also drawing criticism from the taxi industry operating in Toronto. Beck Taxi, one of the more popular taxi services operating in Toronto, said that Lyft can generate the same amount of negative consequences as Uber, referencing sex assault cases. This all has to do with the qualifications and background information of available drivers.
Lyft has began placing calls for drivers. They plan to launch next month, just in time for the holidays. Lyft will be operating in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton and have released five options that Torontonians can look forward to:
- Regular vehicles for up to four passengers
- Vehicles that can carry six passengers ( The plus service)
- High end cars ( premier)
- Luxury black cars ( Lux and Lux SUV )
No pricing information has been released, but it is expected to be in the same range as Uber pricing, hopefully with promotional discounts considering this will be their Toronto launch. Lyft has also announced it has its eyes on other major cities, including London, U.K..
It will be interesting to see how different Lyft will be in comparison to Uber and how the Toronto Taxi industry will continue to survive.
What are your thoughts on Lyft launching in Toronto and will you be trying this over Uber ? Comment below.